Seville is the Andalucian capital and the third most extensive
Spanish city. Bathed by the Guadalquivir river, Seville has
a strong identity all its own, while its popular quarters,
such as Santa Cruz, are as interesting as its many monuments
and old buildings. There is the Alcazar, or Morrish fortress,
La Giralds, the turret of the old 12th century Moorish mosque
that was incorporated as a belltower into the grandiose Gothic
cathedral three centuries later, and the Torre del Oro (Tower
of Gold), an old bastion in the Moorish walls of the city.
"Seville is much more than Seville...", the saying
goes; and we are going to discover just how true this is, by
travelling through the villages and towns of the province of
Seville with their innumerable architectural and artistic treasures.
This region was the grandiose setting for the most brilliant
centuries of Spain's history, and whether you come from afar
or nearby, you will be certain to be enchanted by this journey
into its past.
In the following pages we will describe a recommended route
to just a few of the most interesting places in the Province
of Seville, numbered in order. Obviously, this order can be
changed according to the amount of time you have available
for the journey. Consult your travel agency or contact our
Information and Reservation Centre, we will be delighted to
help you plan your trip.
How to get there
Iberia flies to Seville every day from Madrid, Barcelona,
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Valencia and London. Aviaco also
offers a daily service from Alicante, and flies from Bilbao
and Palma de Mallorca every day except Sunday, from Lanzarote
on Tuesday and Thursdays, and from Fuerteventura on Sundays.
By road, 155 km from Cordoba, 207 km from Malaga and 538 km
By AVE (High Speed Train), it takes only 2 hours and a half
Climate and location
Located in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula, Sevilla
is the capital of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia. It has
a Mediterranean climate, with an average maximum temperature
of 35C in summer and an average minimum of 13C in winter.
Seville's cuisine, like that of the rest of Andalusia, is
light and simple in accordance with the climate. The fame of
the city's tapas has, however, obscured the other fine regional
dishes. The Best-known of these is gazpacho, the basis of every
summer menu, but there is also heavier fare like menudo (Andalusian-style
tripe), spinach with chick peas, and other vegetable stews.
Fried fish is as popular here as in the rest of Andalusia:
try the local variant known as Soldaditos de Pavia, made with
either cod or hake.
Cathedral. Built in the 15th century on the
site of the largest Almohad mosque, this is the third largest
church in Christendom.
Giralda. A former Almohad minaret dating from the 12th century.
Hernan Ruiz's bell-tower was added in the 16th century, as
was the weather-vane at the top, known as "El Giradillo".
Regarded as the symbol of Seville, it is one of the most beautiful
towers in the world.
Royal Fortresses. a beautiful Mixture of the Mudejar, Gothic
and Renaissance styles, reflecting the two great cultures that
created it: Islam and Christianity.
Tower of Gold. A 13th-century Almohad fortification on the
banks of the River Guadalquivir. Its moment of greatest fame
came after the discovery of America when it marked the point
of arrival for the ships sailing from the Indies.
District of Santa Cruz. Formerly a Jewish quarter, this is
a typical district with lovely streets, like La Pimienta, and
little squares like Santa Marta and Santa Cruz. The latter
contains the "Locksmiths' Cross", and intricate 17th-century
creation in wrought iron.
General Archive of the Indies. Inside this Renaissance building,
originally intended as a merchants exchange, is a massive collection
documents on the voyages of discovery of the 15th to 19th centuries.
Provincial Museum of Fine Arts. This Baroque building, formerly
the Convent of La Merced, contains paintings by Murillo, Valdes
Leal, Zurbaran, El Greco, Alonso Cano and others.
Casa de Pilatos. It is arguably Seville's top aristocratic
town mansion and it is the only one open to the general public.
Exemplifies beautifully the typical Andalusian use of glazed
tiles for decorative effect.
Cartuja. The Park of Discoveries. One of the largest theme
parks in the world. It makes use of some of the infrastructure
and part of the grounds where Seville's Expo 92 was held. Closed
for remodeling until June, 1996.
Seville has a rich tradition in various types of handicraft.
Examples are the ceramics of La Cartuja (Calle Alfonso XII,
25) and the wrought iron of Forja Hispalense (Calle Feria,
130). For tooled leather, go to San Pablo in Calle Bailen;
mantillas and embroidery, try Feliciano Foronda (Alvarez Quintero,
52). It is also worth visiting the street market held on Tuesdays
in Calle Feria. Home-made sweets are sold at many of the city's
convents: particularly recommended are the so called yemas
de San Leandro (Convent of San Leandro, Plaza de San Ildofonso).
In Seville, a round of drinks after dark is as much de rigor
as a round of tapas before lunch. The liveliest areas are to
be found around Plaza de la Alfalfa, Calle Marques de Paradas.
On Summer evenings the taverns in the villages just outside
the city, known as the ventanas sevillanas, are very popular
and people make trips out to places like Velazquez Gavino in
La Panoleta, Manolo in La Algaba, and the Ventorrillo Canario
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